I’ll let you in on a little secret.
I don’t really love going to bookstores.
Now, before you make me hand in my word nerd credentials, hear me out. I’m not saying I hate bookstores. I like them a lot.
What I hate is browsing.
I’m not one of those people who can spend hours on end just looking through the shelves (though I’m certainly capable of it if the mood strikes me) and walk out with bags of books (or a long wishlist).
But I can easily spend hours in a library and walk away with more books than I can carry at once.
The difference for me is in the permanence.
In other words, I don’t like to buy a book I haven’t read.
Which brings up a question I get a lot. “Why are reading that book again? You already know what happens.”
Granted, there are some books (I’m looking at you, Lord of the Rings) that take a few read-throughs simply because they contain so much information. You have to go back to make sure you didn’t miss something important.
But I’ve always been someone who enjoys rereading books. All books. And I don’t just read them twice, either. As I write this post, I’m reading my way through Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series (which I highly recommend!) for at least the fifth time. And there are books I’ve read even more than that.
I tend to make a habit of rereading books. And I’ll tell you why.
1. The Experience
When I read a book, I immerse myself in that world. And when it comes to immersion, familiarity becomes your best friend. The better you know the characters, the world, the story, the more fully you can put yourself in it.
So maybe you don’t get to experience all the surprises and tension that a first read gives you. But you can appreciate more fully the way things happen and why.
And the more you read those books, the easier it becomes to enter those worlds. It’s like slipping on a comfy pair of sweatpants. Warm and cuddly and familiar.
2. The Example
Now, I’m a writer. So when I find those books that I just love, I want to reread them to learn from them.
I want to figure out what the writer did that captured my attention so completely. And sometimes, I get distracted by how good the story is. So I read it again. And again.
3. The Excitement
I read a lot of books.
I’ve never actually made a list or kept count, but I would make a conservative guess of at least a book a week, depending on how busy I am. I have been known to read an entire book in a day if it’s good enough (and if it’s over a weekend).
So I don’t always remember what happens in a book, even if I’ve read it before.
For example, I was scrolling through my Kindle books the other day and stumbled across a few books that I think I got back in high school. Maybe early college. Either way, at least three years ago.
And I remembered nothing about them. So I read them again.
For me, this is the biggest reason I reread books. Sure, I might remember the main plot points. I might even remember some specific lines. But unless I just finished reading it, there are going to be things I forget. And I love rediscovering them.
Yes, as I read, more of the story comes back to me. But there are still usually things that surprise me, whether it’s a character’s action or a particularly well-written line.
To me, there’s nothing more exciting than rediscovering why I fell in love with a book in the first place.
Until next time, word nerds!
What books do you like to reread?